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A few weeks ago we got a new computer. I decided it was time to put all of our documents, music and pictures in one place instead of having them spread across a few old laptops. I also wanted to get all of my writing together and back it all up.

Last week’s project was to go into the basement, search through a series of boxes labelled “Desk” and find those old floppy disks from the first computer we ever had.

Stack of floppy disks

Remember these? Oh, I guess I’m aging myself.

My goal was to use a USB/floppy drive I found to transfer all of those old writings onto the new computer. Well, I must have had this thought before, because instead of finding floppies I found CDs with nicely printed labels “Arlene’s Writing – Disk 1”, “Arlene’s Writing – Disk 2,” and so on. 

I popped a CD in and not only did they have what I was looking for, but there were stories and poems I don’t even remember writing. I even found poems I had handwritten in a notebook (that is also somewhere in my basement) from when I was like 12 or 13. It was all organized: 1980s, College, 1990s, etc.

I have to admit some of the poems were bad and I’m not self-doubting and that’s not my inner critic saying that. But because I had forgotten I’d written them, I was able to read them objectively and some really stunk! But, to my (pleasant) surprise, some were really good.

Some of the poems were from the years of awakening, when my eyes were opened to a reality I had not known in my naive youth. Going off to college taught me more than what I found in my textbooks, as it should have. I had new experiences and a new sense of freedom and independence. I learned about sexism, classism, violence, racism, homophobia, love, loss and so much more. And I wrote all about it in vivid and colorful ways. I don’t remember using language like that! And some of my poems even made me blush.

blushing smiley face

Smiley by Halloween cat

I laughed at myself knowing I probably would not write those types of poems today, but kind of proud of myself for writing them too. Maybe I didn’t think anyone would read them or maybe I just cared a lot less if they did.

Picture of street sign "Memory Lane"

Photo from Flickr, ScottD_Arch (revised)

Now, my plan is to go through all the poems and stories to see what’s good as is, what stories can be revised or improved upon and what’s worth sharing or maybe even entering into contests. This should be a fun project! A kind of walk down memory lane, through writing.

Have you ever reviewed your work or writing after not seeing if for a while? How did it make you feel? Did you laugh, cry, feel embarrassed or proud?